Not sure why I’m posting this.
I just came across this file on an old thumb drive. I wrote this in 2012, after a stray cat I adopted had to be euthanized. It’s not eloquent or well written. I remember writing it as fast as I could — terrified that I might forget some of the details of Wally and his little Spirit if I waited too long to get it onto paper.
With me, it’s this constant, burning need to hold on to my memories. I need to make my love tangible. I never want to forget anything that’s touched my heart.
I met Wally the cat on Tuesday, June 12, 2012. I was heading out to dinner with Kathy and RJ when I noticed a small, long haired black cat in the parking lot of Primex. Actually, he noticed me and followed me and wouldn’t stop meowing! I stopped and petted him and rubbed his belly for a while until Dan came outside and took over so I could leave for dinner! I think Dan and Wally hung out for another 30 minutes that night; Wally just wanted to be loved and played with. He was a gorgeous boy (we thought he was a boy!) with brilliant green eyes and some shades of dark brown mixed in with his black fur. His fur was matted pretty badly — we assumed he was a stray. He was also pretty thin. But definitely a handsome little cat.
Over the next couple weeks Wally stayed outside Primex a lot, keeping cool under the cars and in the shade of the woods nearby. Dave Bullock and Dan and I started to care for him by buying him food and putting out water for him. Other people at Primex also looked out for him and grew fond of him, and we all knew we needed to come up with a plan to take care of the little guy. I called all local vets to see if anyone was missing a cat – but they had heard nothing. After a while I knew that Kathy and I would take him home if we could. Kathy and I were going to Boston for the weekend, but we made plans to come by and see if we could get him from Primex on Sunday on the way home. We did! We only had to look for 10 minutes or so before we heard him meowing in the bushes. We fed him and brought him home. He was happy and affectionate, though he wasn’t thrilled with being in the car!
When we brought him home, we took him to the spare room to keep him safe and protected from the rest of the house — in case he had fleas! Wally was the friendliest cat I’d ever met. All he wanted to do was rub against us and cuddle and climb in our laps and be petted. We sat with him on the carpet and pet him while he snuggled against our legs, rolled on his back and belly and bit our fingers and toes! He stretched his paws out in front of him and kneaded the ground and the air while he was being loved on. He loved exploring the room and looking out the windows. He seemed thrilled to be home at last — safe and well fed and loved. We left him alone so he could sleep for a while, probably soundly for the first time in a long time. But then, when he woke up, MEOW! He was ready to say hi and play again! He even escaped and explored the rest of the house; he was never scared or hid, he was just checking everything out, but still staying right by my feet and brushing against my legs. He tentatively sniffed Kira’s crate — he didn’t know WHAT lived in there! — since she was still at the kennel. I gave him one of her stuffed toys to sniff to get used to her scent. And … we started to think Wally might be a girl (sorry Wally!) … there was a LOT of matted fur under there.
I brought Wally to the vet early on Monday morning. Again, he did not love the car ride but he was fine once we got there. I put my fingers in his crate and he nuzzled against me and I stroked his little face and paws and he and calmed right down. He was lying in his little crate and seemed like he felt safe in there. I could see his beautiful green eyes peeking out of the sides looking at me. I told him I loved him and that he’d be fine.
Unfortunately, I got a call from the vet only about an hour later with very bad news. Wally (confirmed as a boy! — a neutered male) was sick with FIV and some other ailments, and she suggested that we should consider putting him down. It was one of the saddest moments of my life. I called Kathy and we discussed it and knew it was ultimately the right thing to do. We couldn’t let him hurt or suffer or be isolated. So we did what we had to do. Wally’s last day in this world was June 25, 2012.
Wally, I just want to let you know that we loved you very much and wanted to give you a home here forever. I never meant to hurt you at all, sweet boy. I wish things had worked out better. We would have loved to have you meet Kira, and play in the yard, and live out all of your years with us, getting all the love and affection you deserved. I hope you know that we loved you and you touched our lives in the short time you were here. I want you to know that you were not alone in your last moments. We will never forget you and we hope you are at peace now. When we can bring home your ashes, we are going to put them in the yard in a nice spot under a tree, where I think you would have loved to have played.* I hope — and I really think — you were safe and happy here on your last night in this world. No cat should ever be left outside like you were, and when we are ready again, we will adopt another little homeless kitty from the shelter in your honor.** I love you Wally.***
** We did, x2.